Ferrari 458 Italia shows new angles: photo update

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

As you may know already the brand new Ferrari 458 Italia will be unveiled at September's Frankfurt Motor Show but, prior to this premiere, the Italian manufacturer revealed today some details and photos with the interior of the new car.

The interior is all about the driver, according to the manufacturer because it concentrates the maximum control of the car in highperformance driving, an uncompromising approach that derives directly from Ferrari's F1 experience.

All the essential commands such as the full beam, flash and windscreen wiper functions are now being activated by buttons on the steering wheel boss.

The design of Ferrari 458 Italia's Pininfarina is proof that this model is following a new direction. The shape is compact and helps with the aerodynamics and highlights efficiency, lightness, and simplicity. These are the same features that served as the inspiration.

As expected of any Ferrari model, the style of the car is motivated by the need to have aerodynamic efficiency. An example of this is the generated downforce of 140 kg when running at 200 km/h. The front only has one opening that is used by the front grill and the air intakes on the sides.

With the aerodynamically designed sections, the air is directed to the coolant radiators and even to its flat underbody. The nose on the other hand has small aeroelastic winglets that help in generating downforce and when the car increases its speed, it bends in order to lower a section of its radiator inlets.

The result is that it reduces drag. It is equipped with the 4499 cc V8 engine and is the first direction injection engine from the brand to be mounted mid-rear. Much like the standard racing engines, it has a very low piston compression height which gives it a 12.5:1 compression ratio.

With a traditional flat-plane crankshaft, the engine can give 570 CV at 9000 rpm and 127 CV/liter of power output. This manages to set new standards not just in the brand’s product line but on the whole segment. The engine can deliver 540 Nm maximum torque at 6000 rpm with 80% of this made available starting from 3250 rpm.

Specific torque though has been recorded at 120 Nm/liter. While the amount of torque given is exceptional by itself, these remain to be accessible even when keeping high power levels at low revolutions. The engine gives off a powerful sound that is then directed to the three rear tailpipes of the exhaust.

It has a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that improves performance and enables smooth shift even when running at full throttle. The 458 Italia can reach maximum speed when it reaches top gear as high torque is present even when it is at lower engine speeds.

This is attributed to gear ratios that have been specifically made by the brand’s engineers to match the power and the torque curves of the V8 engine. Regarding emissions, the 458 Italia is a step ahead as well. The new engine may be more powerful compared to the previous V8 versions. Furthermore, emissions have been measured at 320 g/km of CO2 while fuel cycle (combined cycle) is 13.7/100 km.

Reducing the weight was also another consideration that engineers took into account. The 458 Italia therefore has a power-to-weight ratio at 2.42 kg/CV while dry weight is only 1380 kg. Weight distribution is considered optimal as well with 58% of the weight supported by its rear axle. All of these efforts resulted in two important figures.

The first is that maximum speed is at 325 km/h with acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h just below 3.4 seconds. The new chassis is also made of aluminium and engineers from Maranello made sure to integrate different advanced alloys in addition to the bonding techniques and aerospace industry-derived manufacturing methods used.

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